Ancient VVisdom – A Godlike Inferno (Prosthetic Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

Those who aren’t well-versed in the metal underground or even the top rung bands probably still think the acoustic guitar is reserved solely for power ballads. You know, dim the lights, pull out your lighters, prop up a stool, and belt out a tune about love, or children crying, or chicks crying, or dudes crying (although no dude would ever fess up to crying). We can thank “Nothing Else Matters” and glam bands for that, and if we want to make a really big reach, one-hit wonders Days of the New, who were supposed to usher in acoustic metal/rock in the late 90’s. Wow, that’s a name we haven’t heard in a while.

Obviously, Austin, Texas-based Ancient VVisdom (spelled like that on purpose) are an all-acoustic metal band and on their A Godlike Inferno debut (which was originally released last year), they heed the call of the devil across eight haunting tracks. The songs are all simple and tuneful, but lavish enough to tilt the needle toward Opeth/Agalloch acoustic guitar territory while humming along with an Alice In Chains-like tune. Does that make sense? It probably should after an initial listen – A Godlike Inferno is quite immediate stuff.

There are no actual drums, rather “exotic” percussion, meaning lots of thumping along and not much else. However, the breadth of these songs is striking – just look at opener “Alter Reality” which strokes Old Scratch’s beard with a devilish chorus, while the melodic and somber “The Opposition” has a sing-a-long chorus that is hard not to belt along to…just double-check the fact that these songs are highly Satanic. In essence: camp fire songs about the devil. Not a bad concept, eh?

One doesn’t have to be a genius to see how Ancient VVisdom will position themselves in the Ghost/The Devil’s Blood/neo-Satanic wave sweepstakes with A Godlike Inferno. Moreover, a lot of these songs are utterly chilling (i.e. “Forever Tonight” and closer “Children of the Wasteland”), so it’s not like they’ll have any problem breaking into that club. Beyond that, A Godlike Inferno is dark…like the pits of the devil’s soul. Something like that. Get this.

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